Here’s how it works

2011-05-18 00:00

IF you feel flustered and overwhelmed by the idea of voting in today’s local government elections, don’t worry — here are a few tips to make the process easier.

Remember to take your green ID book, and check which polling station you are registered for. This can be done at the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) website (www.elections.org.za) or by SMSing your ID number to 32810.

You can only vote at the voting station where you are registered. Voting will start at 7 am and booths will close at 7 pm.

When you walk through the door, an elections official will scan your ID with a scanner. The official will give you a slip with your number on the voters’ roll. This slip must be given to the voters’ roll officer who will cross your name off the voters’ roll. He or she will also check the photo in your ID book.

Once your name has been crossed off, another official will mark your nail to prove you’ve voted. The mark will stay there for a few days. You will then be given three ballot papers. Check to see that each paper has an official stamp on the back. There will be a yellow ballot paper for proportional representation (PR). This vote is for a party. If a party gets 70% support, it will be allowed to appoint 70% of the proportional representation councillors in a municipality.

The municipal councillors are made up of two halves — PR councillors and ward councillors. The ward councillors are directly elected by your vote on the white ballot paper. Each white ballot paper will have the names of the candidates, the parties’ names and logos, and a place for you to make a cross or a tick.

There will also be a green ballot for you to vote for a party to nominate members of the district council. If you make a mistake on your ballot paper, notify the officials who will give you a new ballot and destroy the incorrect one. Once you have voted, fold your ballot paper in half and place it in the box.

All the ballots will be counted at their voting stations, and the results will then be communicated to the IEC’s results centre in Pretoria.

The first results in the elections are expected before midnight tonight. Final results should be out by Friday.

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